Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Treasure Island

A writer’s treasure map

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Map of Treasure Island

The author must know his countryside, whether real or imaginary, like his hand; the distances, the points of the compass, the place of the sun’s rising, the behavior of the moon, should all be beyond cavil. And how troublesome the moon is…!

But it is my contention—my superstition, if you like—that who is faithful to his map, and consults it, and draws from it his inspiration, daily and hourly, gains positive support, and not mere negative immunity from accident. The tale has a root there; it grows in that soil; it has a spine of its own behind the words. Better if the country be real, and he has walked every foot of it and knows every milestone. But even with imaginary places, he will do well in the beginning to provide a map; as he studies it, relations will appear that he had not thought upon; he will discover obvious, though unsuspected, shortcuts and footprints for his messengers ; and even when a map is not all the plot, as it was in Treasure Island, it will be found to be a mine of suggestion.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Written by nevalalee

July 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

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